1. The Challenge and qualification for the award
The ability of antisense DNA based oligonucleotides (asDNA), small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) or CRISPR to control the expression of specific genes makes them attractive tools with broad potential for the manipulation of key genes controlling the immune response and enhancement of anticancer immunity. It is widely accepted that lymphocytes, in particular T cells, play a central role in anticancer immunity. Therefore, Boehringer Ingelheim (the Seeker) desires a new approach for asDNA/siRNA/CRISPR delivery into murine lymphocytes in vivo.
The submitted solutions will be considered for the award. There will be a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution. The total payout will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $3,000.
2. Additional application for Research Funding
In addition to consideration for the award for the submitted solutions, Solvers with appropriate qualifications and expertise having access to a suitable research laboratory and equipment can apply for research funding (“Research Funding”) to execute a research plan that is proposed in the solution. The selection of candidates for Research Funding will be conducted after completion of this Challenge and will require the submission of additional information. The decision to fund research will be at the discretion of the Seeker.
Submissions to this Challenge including additional optional application for Research Funding must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on February 14, 2016. Late submissions will not be considered.
In order to realize the full potential of using asDNA, siRNA, or CRISPR to modulate gene expression, they must be efficiently delivered in vivo across the cell membrane into immune cells in a specific manner. Currently, no such robust method exists. One of the major hurdles is that after systemic delivery, these tools must be transported through the body without being cleared, rapidly degraded or accumulated in the liver. Boehringer Ingelheim (the Seeker) desires a new approach for asDNA/siRNA/CRISPR delivery into murine lymphocytes in vivo.
This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:
Solvers with appropriate qualification and expertise having access to a suitable research laboratory and equipment can, in addition, apply for Research Funding to execute the research plan that is proposed in the solution. The selection of candidates for Research Funding will be conducted after completion of the Challenge and will require the submission of additional information. The decision to fund research will be at the sole discretion of the Seeker.
InnoCentive will inform Solvers considered for Research Funding within 60 days after completion of the Challenge and will provide Seeker contact information to negotiate a research collaboration. The definitive research plan, amount of funding, and the contractual details of the research collaboration will be negotiated with the Solver and his/her responsible institutional representatives after acceptance of the research plan.
Qualified solvers can, in addition, apply for Research Funding. Solvers may be awarded for the (i) submitted solution and may be (ii) selected for Research Funding independently of being awarded. In particular, selection of a solution for the award does not automatically lead to a selection for Research Funding and vice versa.
After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.
ABOUT THE SEEKER
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally with 146 affiliates and a total of more than 47,700 employees. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is researching, developing, manufacturing, and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. For over 90 years, Boehringer Ingelheim has been a leader in the treatment of respiratory disease. The company has developed and continues to explore a pipeline of unique compounds to help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases.
What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?
An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.
In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:
Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.